Zelle is a payment solution that allows you to send money straight to someone else’s bank account, even if they use a different bank than you. Many major banks support Zelle and allow you to enroll using your email or phone number right from inside your mobile banking app.
What We'll Cover
- How Do You Use Zelle With Online Banks?
- Does Zelle work with any online banks?
- What If My Bank Is Not Supported by Zelle?
- Here's a step-by-step on how you can link your debit card to the Zelle app if your bank doesn't support it directly:
- What are the best online banks that use Zelle?
But can you use Zelle with any bank? What about online banks? You’ve come to the right place for answers to these questions and more. We’ll get you up to speed on what online banks work with Zelle, as well as some handy loopholes for how to use Zelle with unsupported banks.
How Do You Use Zelle With Online Banks?
Once you’re enrolled with Zelle, you can send money to almost anyone who has a bank account by entering their email address or phone number. Even if they’re not already enrolled in Zelle, they’ll get a notification explaining how to quickly and securely receive your payment.
Does Zelle work with any online banks?
Unfortunately, the answer here is a bit complicated. Allow us to explain. Zelle is already offered in mobile apps of a huge number of banks, both of the traditional and online varieties.
But there are certain financial apps it doesn’t support. In order to understand why it’s important to understand the distinction between online banks and neobanks.
Online Banks vs. Neobanks
Online banks and neobanks (aka challenger banks) can look very similar on the surface. The main difference is that neobanks exist completely online and don’t have any physical branches at all. Many times, neobanks aren’t actual banks but are run by fintech companies that have partnered with banks to provide certain financial services.
Chime, for instance, is a popular neobank that is actually a financial technology company. In order to provide their customers with FDIC insurance coverage and banking services, Chime partners with The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank.
Online banks, on the other hand, are usually associated with a major bank or financial institution. While some also exist entirely online, others may have at least a few physical locations. While there are online banks that support Zelle, it often won’t work with neobanks such as Chime or payment solutions like Paypal, or Venmo.
What If My Bank Is Not Supported by Zelle?
Before we get into the best online banks with Zelle, it’s worth mentioning that there may be an easy workaround even if your bank is not supported. Say, for instance, that you use a reputable online bank like Axos.
While Axos is not directly supported by Zelle, you can still download the Zelle app and link it to your debit card. As long as you’re sending or receiving money from someone with a bank supported by the Zelle network, you should still be able to use it.
Here's a step-by-step on how you can link your debit card to the Zelle app if your bank doesn't support it directly:
- First: Download the Zelle app
- If you have an account: You just need to put your phone number and sign in to your account
- If you don't have an account: Just press "Sign up" and create one using your current phone number
- Third: You will be asked to search for your bank, so continuing with our past example, search for"Axos Bank".
- Fourth: Since you will not have any results, you will then select the "Don't See Your Bank" option.
- Fifth: You need to provide your email in order to receive an authorization code and enter it
- Sixth: Enter your Visa or Mastercard debit card and billing information
That's It! Now you can send and receive money with Zelle using your debit card.
What are the best online banks that use Zelle?
Among the many banks and credit unions that Zelle supports directly, you’ll find plenty of great online banks. Here are some of our top choices and the reasons why we picked them.
Quontic is an online bank that’s at the forefront of innovation. From their wearable debit card ring to their Bitcoin Rewards Checking account, Quontic is constantly pushing the boundaries of online banking.
In addition to no overdraft or monthly fees, customers enjoy high-yield checking and savings accounts with impressively high APYs. Quontic also offers CDs and money market savings options that come with competitive rates.
If you have a Quontic checking or savings account, you can use Zelle to send money to anyone within minutes. According to Quontic’s website, the maximum transaction limit for Zelle is $500 with a daily limit of $1000.
- Choose from cashback, high-yield, or Bitcoin rewards checking accounts
- Full-service designated CDFI bank with access to 90,000+ free ATMs
- Innovative products such as a wearable debit card ring
- Exist entirely online with no physical locations
- You may find higher rates from some competitors
Despite that Axos may not technically qualify as one of the best online banks with Zelle, due to the fact that it doesn't support Zelle directly, If you're an Axos customer, you can still link your Axos debit card to the Zelle app (as mentioned before) and use it. Therefore, we definitely needed to include it in our list.
Axos comes with plenty of great perks, such as Direct Deposit Express and unlimited reimbursements on domestic ATM fees. Axos offers several different checking accounts to choose from, each of which comes with its own unique perks and benefits.
Enjoy perks such as cash back on signature-based purchases or a generous APY. Most checking accounts also come with no overdraft fees, no monthly maintenance fees, or no minimum balance requirements.
- Variety of different types of checking accounts to choose from- each with its own unique benefits
- Unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements
- No overdraft, maintenance, or minimum balance fees
- Some accounts require minimum opening balances
Discover Bank is another popular online bank that allows customers to send money with Zelle right from inside their banking app. You can send a daily limit of $600/day using your Discover debit, checking, savings, or money market account. There’s no daily limit when it comes to how much you can receive.
Discover offers plenty of great perks, such as no monthly fees, no overdraft fees, and no minimum balance requirements. With a Discover checking account, you’ll earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 worth of debit card purchases every month. You can also park your money in a Discover savings account and enjoy a 2.75% APY. Discover also offers other features such as retirement accounts, CDs, and Money Market accounts.
Enjoy getting your paycheck up to two days earlier when you sign up for direct deposit and access to over 60,000 fee-free partner ATMs.
- 1% cash back on up to $3,000 worth of debit purchases per month
- No monthly fees, minimum balance requirements, or overdraft fees
- A solid set of savings options with competitive APYs
- Only one physical location
- No cash deposits are available
Ally Bank allows customers to use Zelle to easily send money from their checking, savings, or money market accounts. While Ally doesn’t currently specify daily limits, it does advise keeping in mind that sending money from your savings or money market account will count towards your monthly transaction limits.
As far as features, Ally has plenty to offer. As a full-service bank, Ally offers everything from checking & savings accounts to brokerage accounts, credit cards, and loans.
Enjoy savings “buckets” that allow you to save for different goals without opening multiple accounts, as well as various other features designed to help boost your financial habits.
- Enjoy banking, investing, and loans all in one place
- Generous savings APY with savings “buckets” feature
- No monthly fees or account minimums
- No cash deposits are available
Varo is another great choice when it comes to sending and receiving money free with Zelle. Just sign up with Zelle right from inside the Varo app and enjoy receiving an unlimited amount of money each day. As for sending money, Varo advises checking the Varo app for the most up-to-date sending limits.
Varo’s cashback debit card allows you to earn up to 6% cash back when you shop with 50+ partner brands. No credit check is required to sign up and there are no monthly, overdraft, or minimum balance fees.
Varo also offers a savings account with a 2% APY, cash advances of up to $100, and a credit builder option.
- No monthly fees or overdraft fees
- Generous cash back rewards from select partners
- Cash advance and credit builder options
- Limits and/or fees for cash deposits
Capital One is yet another great contender for the best online banks that support Zelle right from their apps. Capital One’s 360 checking account allows you to send up to $2,500/day with Zelle with no limits on how much you can receive.
Capital One offers checking accounts with no minimums, monthly fees, or overdraft charges. You can also enjoy getting paid two days early with direct deposit and the ability to deposit cash at any CVS location.
Capital One also offers a savings account with a generous 3% variable APY and CDs with fixed 12-month APYs of 4%.
- No monthly or minimum fees
- Multiple overdraft protection options, including auto-decline
- Select physical locations and cafes
- Physical locations and branches only available in a few states
iGO Banking allows customers to use Zelle to make up to $1,500 in transactions per calendar day right from their banking app. IGO's online checking account offers direct deposit, mobile check cashing, and access to over 55,000 ATMs.
Customers can also rest assured that iGO’s checking accounts are not subject to overdraft, insufficient funds, or transfer fees. IGO also offers a savings account, a money market account, and CDs – all of which come with competitive APYs when you meet certain conditions.
- No monthly fees or overdraft fees
- Convenient banking app with mobile check deposit
- 55,000+ fee-free ATMs
- $100 minimum to open an account but no minimum balance
- Savings account yield is competitive but not as high as others on this list
First Internet Bank
While technically called First Internet Bank of Indiana, this bank is now often known purely as First Internet Bank - probably because you don’t have to live in Indiana to use it. First Internet Bank actually was the first state-chartered, FDIC-insured bank ever to exist completely online.
In addition to checking accounts, First Internet Bank offers a savings account with a generous APY and some of the highest-yield CDs we’ve come across. The bank also offers accounts for kids, IRAs, tax-advantaged health savings accounts, and a full suite of loan options.
First Internet Bank customers can sign up for Zelle and use it to make and receive payments directly in the bank’s payment app. While the bank does not specify whether or not there are any daily transaction limits, it may be worth reaching out to make sure if you're planning to make a large payment using Zelle.
- Competitive interest rates
- Variety of different account options with no overdraft fees
- Products including bank accounts, loans, CDs, and more
- No physical branches
CIT Bank is an online bank that allows customers to use Zelle to send $300/transaction up to a daily limit of $600. The bank also has plenty to offer, especially in the way of high-yield accounts.
When you open a Savings Connect account with a minimum deposit of $100, you can earn a generous APY of 3.25%. The bank also offers a wide selection of other savings products, from a money market account to term or no-penalty CDs.
Even CIT’s checking accounts offer APYs of .10% - .25% depending on your account balance. With no monthly fees or overdrafts, CIT is definitely an option worth checking out.
- No monthly fees or overdraft fees
- Large selection of high-yield savings products
- Up to $30 in ATM fee reimbursements each month
- $100 minimum opening deposit required for checking accounts
- No paper checks available
As you can see, there are not plenty of different online banks that offer customers the convenience of Zelle right from their mobile accounts. If you’ve yet to take advantage of using Zelle as a payment option, it’s certainly worth giving a shot. As opposed to using third-party payment apps, Zelle allows you to send and receive money within minutes completely free of charge.
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